Scouts Camp

I went camping with my two little ones this weekend with Scouts. We had a great time.

My best friend and her daughter were going, and she has to eat gluten-free as well. We decided to take a look at the planned menu, and work around that. We skipped Friday night, and drove up on Saturday, so we only had to figure out lunch, dinner, and breakfast for Sunday.

Lunch was hot dogs, and we purchased a natural brand with minimal ingredients. There was fresh fruit and vegetables, and chips to go along with them. My friend also purchased a couple of treats for us in the form of gluten-free cookies.

Snack was apples and cheese, so that worked out well.

Dinner was soft shell tacos. My friend and I decided to pre-bake a couple of sweet potatoes and use those as a base, then add the ground beef and assorted veggies and taco toppings. There was also a mixed green salad and dressing.

We discovered during dinner a few other people there didn’t eat wheat either, and had brought Udi’s tortillas. I tried one and they were delicious, although they fall apart rather easily.

Breakfast the next morning was a bit of a bungle because we were originally going to make plantain banana pancakes, but we didn’t have time to make them before camp. I ended up snacking on leftovers for breakfast, which was fine, but I will be more prepared next year.

Blood sugars were pretty awesome throughout the trip, but it wasn’t until Sunday afternoon after the kids and I got home and had time to relax that I experienced a really intense low.

At 2.8mmol (or 50mg), I ate some a lot of peanut butter and a granola bar and took a nap. When I woke up I was still only at 3.7mmol, (or 66mg). By then it was dinner, so it was alright that I was still low.

Recipe: Mofongo

Mofongo is a fried plantain banana-based dish. You make it with fried green plantains and you can add all sorts of fun stuff to it, like bacon, sausage, ground meat, shrimp, and a variety of vegetables that makes this dish quite versatile for a trail meal.

I made mine with bacon and a fire-roasted red pepper. If you were on a longer trip, you could easily add an assortment of dehydrated vegetables instead.

The great thing about dehydrating plantains is how little weight it ends up being. I was pretty surprised that 2 plantains took up barely 1/4 of a ziplock bag, and was more than enough food for 2 adults and a very hungry 7-year old.

What you will need to make this for the trail:

2  large, green plantains
A dehydrator (or use your oven)
A food processor

Peel and chop the plantains into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. Boil them for 20-25 minutes. You want to make sure they are almost over-cooked since you will be mashing and dehydrating them.

When they are done boiling, strain off excess moisture.

My dehydrator didn’t come with a plastic sheet, so I cut out a piece of parchment paper and smeared the mashed plantains evenly across it.

Dehydrate for 6-8 hours.

When it’s finished dehydrating, and is cooled down, brake the giant banana chip into pieces and put it in the food processor.

Pulse it until it’s broken up into tiny chips. (I suppose I could have processed it for longer to make it into a powder, but I was doing this at night while my kids were asleep.) Feel free to do whichever one works best for you.

Transfer to a ziplock bag, or food container. It’s ready for the trail!

On the trail, soak the plantain chips/powder for 20 minutes. If you’re using dehydrated meat or vegetables, add them in too, so they can all soak together. After they’ve soaked, add a bit more water, and put over the fire, or heat with your camp stove.

As it’s cooking, you’ll have to add more liquid. The plantains take a lot of liquid to reconstitute. Stir frequently.

Once it’s heated, you can add bacon, or your meat of choice (summer sausage, salami), and fresh vegetables. On our trip, we had a fresh red pepper, so we fire-roasted it, and added it to the mix.

When it was almost finished, I added a huge pat of butter. (Alternatively, you could use olive oil, coconut oil, tallow, or lard.) Traditionally this is served with broth, so you could also add a boullion cube.

Enjoy!

Do you have a delicious, gluten-free trail food that you love? I’d love to hear what you guys take camping!

 

May Long Weekend

My canoe trip to Algonquin Park over the May long weekend was nothing short of incredible.

My 7-year old daughter and I had the most amazing time. We got to parking lot around 2pm, and loaded up the canoe.

Then we set off towards our first portage.

On our way!

On our way!

From previous experience, I know that doing hard, steady work (snowshoeing, hiking) means I need to cut back on my basal rate. This was the first time I camped using my pump, so I figured -%20 would be fine to start while we portaged. I was worried that it might still keep me too high, but I would rather be a bit too high than hit a low.

420m Portage!

420m Portage!

We started the portage with all our gear first. It was pretty tough, with lots of ups and downs. We ended up keeping track of how far we were going by the mud holes; there were 4 mud holes.

I was really worried about carrying the canoe all by myself, but I just focused on the gear I was carrying. We made it to the end of the portage and dropped our gear. We took a little water break, and then headed back for the canoe and the food barrel.

My daughter was incredible. She carried our bear barrel, which was pretty heavy, all the way to the end of the portage without any help from me.

I hefted the kevlar canoe over my head and began the uphill trek. It was hard. I made it about 150m before I had to set it down and take a break. By then, I just couldn’t lift it again. I was so slow that River (my daughter) had had time to drop off the food barrel and come back to help me.

We each took an end and we very slowly, very carefully, carried the canoe to the end. It was incredibly hard, but she didn’t complain once. She just took it in stride and helped me get that canoe to the other side.

I was so proud of her, and I made sure I told her too.

We loaded the canoe back up and got on the water.

By the time we got to camp it had started to rain. Luckily it was just a light drizzle, so setting up camp under the canopy of the forest kept us mostly dry.

When everything was set up, we were tired and hungry. I did a blood test and I was shocked that it was only 5.2mmol (93mg) because my basal rate was still set to -%20.

When it comes to gluten-free cooking on the trail, rice noodles pack an amazing carb punch. Normally, in pasta dishes, I replace the noodles with zucchini noodles that I make with a spiralizer. However, when camping/hiking/canoeing, you end up burning so many carbs that it’s really important to refuel. Rice noodles have a higher carb content than regular wheat noodles, without the gluten.

Dinner was rice noodles with a couple of handfuls of dehydrated veggies, and dehydrated ground beef. When it was finished cooking, I poured out the extra water, and I added a generous pat of butter.

We enjoyed our dinner from inside the bug shelter.

2015-05-16 16.00.12

The next morning I woke up with high blood sugars. I was at 15.6mmol (280mg) because I had kept the -%20 basal rate throughout the night, which after such a high carb dinner, I probably didn’t need to worry about.

I also had a very deep fear of going low in the night because our food was so far away from the camp site. I was pretty paranoid about keeping anything smelly (including dextrose tabs) inside the tent in case a bear decided to visit our camp.

For breakfast, I made bacon and eggs with ready crisp bacon. I normally never eat that stuff, but for the trail it keeps really well unrefrigerated.

We spent the day doing lots of canoeing, going back to the car (another portage!) to pickup my friend and bring her back to the site.

We stayed around camp mostly, and decided to do the Barron Canyon the next day. Which was an amazing decision because the sun was bright and shiny for the whole day on Sunday while we canoed the canyon.

2015-05-17 08.57.44

It always amazes me how life clings on to most barren places.

It always amazes me how life clings on to most barren places.

2015-05-17 13.10.37

From on top of the Barron Canyon.

From on top of the Barron Canyon.